Mumbai:After 47 long years, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has managed to reclaim a 1.5 km stretch of prime public road in a congested area which was encroached upon by a private housing society, an official said here on Friday.
According to Deputy Municipal Commissioner Vasant Prabhu, the 1.5 km X 18 mt thoroughfare in question was a development plan road which the Scindia Society had captured by erecting an illegal wall, way back in 1969!
It was a vital link joining one of the most-congested roads, the Andheri-Kurla Road with Prof. N.S. Phadke Marg, parallel to the Western Express Highway.
Accordingly, owing to the dispute with the society for 47 years, the BMC could not open the road and ease traffic congestion in that area.
However, in the past four days, the BMC aggressively entered the vicinity with a team of 60 workers, a police team, JCBs, dumpers and other material to demolish the wall, an illegal security cabin, an illegal entry point, an unauthorized compound and several other unauthorized structures encroaching on the public property, said K-East Assistant Municipal Commissioner D.K. Jain.
The BMC took complete possession of the road. The civic body has undertaken repairs, renovation and resurfacing of the entire stretch on a war-footing.
The BMC has also shifted all the public utilities like Mahanagar Gas Ltd and Reliance Energy lines on that road and it will be thrown open for public use and road traffic from Saturday morning on, Jain assured.
The BMC has alleged that the society had resorted to grabbing the road with an eye on the additional Floor Space Index that could have benefited it, but locals wonder how it could take 47 years for the civic body to initiate action in the matter.
The BMC has also decided to throw the rule book - albeit, belatedly - at the society and has initiated appropriate action for illegally encroaching upon the public property for nearly five decades.
Jain said that reopening of the road will directly benefit thousands of people living in 40 other housing societies in the vicinity and ease the traffic congestion in the locality.
Andheri east is one of the most crowded suburb of Mumbai with approaches to the domestic and international airports, many five-star hotels, several deluxe hospitals, educational and residential complexes, the Western Railway and Harbour Line, the city's first metro connecting Ghatkopar-Andheri-Versova, industrial and commercial hubs, the SEEPZ and other important locations.